Norway - Market Overview Norway - Market Overview
The Nordic Region
- The four main Nordics - Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – are advanced, high income and highly connected countries. While each country has its own unique market and characteristics, there are certain synergies that tie these highly innovative marketplaces together.
- With an aggregate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1.5 trillion and combined population of 26 million people, the Nordics are of genuine interest to a number of U.S. companies with leading and advanced products, technologies and services.
- Norway is a modern, energy-rich country with 5.3 million people.
- Norway is considered one of the world's wealthiest countries with a GDP per capita based on purchasing power parities (PPP) exceeding USD 72,000.
- Norway’s external financial position is very strong from a global perspective and the country has an important stake in promoting a liberal environment for foreign trade.
- The country is richly endowed with natural resources - petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals - and is highly dependent on the petroleum sector.
- Norway is the world's 3rd largest exporter of natural gas and 13th largest exporter of crude oil (2018). Its large merchant shipping fleet is one of the most modern among maritime nations and ranked the 5th largest by value. Other major industries, such as offshore shipping, shipbuilding, fishing and fish farming, information technology, pulp and paper products, and light metals processing have prospered as well.
- Incomes are also more evenly distributed, making every person a consumer. Unemployment rates are low at 3.2%. Interest rates are also low.
- The Norwegian economy features a combination of free market activity and government intervention. The government controls key areas, such as the vital petroleum sector, and the government maintains control over a number of large-scale state enterprises - some of them fully owned, and some publicly traded, but where the government has controlling interests.
- Norway is located in Northern Europe and is a part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Jan Mayen and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard are also part of Norwegian territory.
- The majority of the country shares a border to the east with Sweden; its northernmost region is bordered by Finland to the south and Russia to the east; and Denmark lies south of its southern tip across the Skagerrak Strait. Norway's extensive coastline is facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.
- With its population covering 323,802 square kilometers, Norway is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. It is a narrow and mountainous country nearly 1,600 miles long with a jagged coastline ten times its length.
- Norway is a vibrant, stable democracy.
- The majority of Norwegians are fluent in English and many have very close cultural and family ties to the United States.
- Norwegian business ethics are similar to those of the United States.
- Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), but is linked to the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. By virtue of the EEA, Norway is practically part of the EU’s single market, except in fisheries and agriculture.
- Norway is part of the Schengen Agreement, which guarantees free movement of persons and the absence of internal border control between 22 of the 28 EU Member States, as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Passport controls between Schengen countries have been reintroduced in 2017.